What makes the potential of the Internet so exciting is that e-commerce companies have the potential to save 10% to 20% of these costs.
Thus, instead of paying for packing, shipping and transporting the product to a retail site, the firm has the option to send it directly to customers and can pocket the markup a retailer would receive. Also, the company can choose to mark down the price of an item, saving customers money and enticing more purchases. Shipping costs may be charged to customers for e-commerce purchases. As a result, the manufacturer does not need to absorb these costs which are normally part of the price charged to retailers.
Specifically, The primary functions a business website can normally provide on the Internet include: Advertising, Sales Support, Customer Service, Public Relations and E-commerce (retail store).
The marketing team should carefully consider each of these components when designing and managing an Internet program. The design of a website should be guided by the IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) plan and the specific objectives the site seeks to accomplish within the overall IMC program.
So, to explain each of these functions clearly and ensure that you understand them well; I’ll split this article into two parts. In this part I’ll cover the first three functions that are: Advertisement, Sales Support and Customer Service while I’ll discuss the Public Relations and E-commerce in a separate composition.
In order to advertise, a well designed fancy website is created to attract more visitors and customers. Many firms use websites to promote individual products as well as the overall company. For instance, most movies now are advertised through traditional media(television, magazines) but also have websites for e-moviegoers to view.
Still, Advertising is rarely presented by itself without being incorporated with other marketing functions. Some websites are for Sales Support. In those instances, information about the products should be accessible through either a salesperson or a direct link from the webpage. These types of websites are used more routinely for the business-to-business customers rather than retail consumers.
Effective Sales Support sites must be useful for engineers and other members of the buying center who need additional product information. The actual sale is normally made via a salesperson. Then, the price and terms can be negotiated separately.
A Customer Service Internet site provides a different function. The goal of a Customer Service website is to support the customer after the sale. In this instance, documentation and operating information are provided. Customers who have questions can use the e-mail function to obtain information or scroll through the FAQs or (Frequently Asked Questions) to see the popular concerns people raise about various items or services.
Portions of these sites may be password protected in order to ensure that only customers who have purchased products can access certain information.
These Marketing functions clearly indicate the potential of the Internet to be a valuable component of the company’s IMC program. The company should decide on how to integrate the Internet with its Marketing strategy to get the desired results.
Source by Mona Abdulla